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It’s National Chocolate-Covered Raisin Day.


I refused to even buy a box to share pictures with you.  I just hate ’em that much, and I refuse to in any way support their continued production.

It’s not the raisins.  I like raisins, as you’ll recall from my blog on oatmeal cookies just the other day. And B’s daddy taught B, who taught me, to make this absolutely gorgeous (gorge-ous) pasta with anchovies, garlic, and, yes, raisins.  So good I could die.  Perhaps B or her daddy will share it with you someday.

It’s not the chocolate (what’s wrong with you???).

I googled chocolate-covered raisins and was quite surprised that I didn’t find a facebook anti-fan site or anything like that.  In fact, I had to google “I hate chocolate covered raisins” to even get a negative hit (some of the hits were pretty darned gross, in case you’re thinking of subjecting yourself to same).

I’m of the general conviction that chocolate and dried fruit – any dried fruit – don’t belong together.  Raisins just brings it down to a whole other level of YUCK.  Fruit-and-nut bars another just bad.  Chocolate-covered raisins with some other stuff thrown in.  Ech.  And don’t even talk to me, Di, about that glorified fruit-and-nut bar we had at Mis Trucos that time.  #1, I was 3 glasses of wine in (or more); #2, I didn’t want to hurt your feelings.  Notice I “let” you have most of it.

It’s the sugary sweetness of the raisins mixed with chocolate.  There’s no good to be found there. I like my chocolate dark.  Sometimes with chili or orange.  Even, occasionally, cherry (but a jammy layer, not chunks of crappy sweetened dried cherries).  Chocolate-covered raisins are a junk food ripoff.  You think you’re getting a chocolatey treat but instead you get raisin yuck.

That’s all I have to say about that. On to more pleasant topics.

Jim is helping me train for a personal best half marathon.  I have stupidly set a goal of 1:45.  The race is May 2.  So tonight, Jim chased my butt up and down a huge hill six times.  He first made me warm up for 2 km.  Then after 6 hills he made me run home.  Selfish coach refused to carry me.

Then he went to hockey.  Left to my own devices, I still generally don’t turn to microwave popcorn or toast for dinner.  Chatting on the phone with my Sissy (Andrea) I mused, “hmm… what should I have for dinner?  Oh, look, anchovies!”  Sissy snorted.  “Most people are like, hmmmm… what do I do with this chicken?  You start with anchovies!”  I bet I could write a cookbook of recipes only featuring anchovies or duck. Or both.

But I digress… my search of the fridge yielded anchovies, leftover tomato sauce (Mario’s, of course), grated parmesan, pine nuts and capers.  No olives, alas, except the creepy jarred kind that Jim keeps on hand for martinis.  “Aha,” I thought, “pasta”.  Pasta is my go-to, I’m-at-home-alone meal.  Easy.  Tasty.  Cheap.  Often made with leftovers.

First I started a big pot of liberally salted water to boil.

I toasted 2 T pinenuts.  Then I heated up about 2 tsp olive oil, and sautéed 5 roughly chopped cloves of garlic with 5 chopped anchovy fillets until the anchovies dissolved.  Rummaging in my freezer, I came across about 1/2 C porcini stock (the leftover water from rehydrating porcinis).  With this, I deglazed the pan.

Then I added the pasta (whole wheat linguini) to the salted water (set the timer for about 9 minutes).

Then I stirred some chopped capers (about 1 T) into the porcini / anchovy stock.  Then the leftover tomato sauce (about a cup).  Then I tasted.  A little… earthy.  Needed some zippity-doo-dah, which I thought the capers would add.  Hmmm (tapping finger on chin).  Sherry vinegar! (just a splash).  Perfection.

Reserved 1 C of the water then drained the pasta and dumped into the sauce.  Added the pine-nuts and tossed.    Added some grated parmesan and a little reserved pasta water and tossed again.

Not bad for a Tuesday running night.  Way better than yucky chocolate-covered raisins.

it all started with anchovies